Help For Valencians With Autism To Cross The Street Safely

The City Council has initiated a pilot project, one of the first of its type in the world, to assist individuals with autism in crossing the street safely.

For most of us, crossing the street safely has become a habit about which we have no second thoughts. This behavior, however, can be difficult for people who have functional diversity, such as those with autism spectrum condition (ASD).

In response to this impediment, the Valencia City Council stated on May 25 that its Department of Social Services had launched a pilot initiative including the painting of pictograms on pedestrian crossings. The floor markers are intended to be readily visible and to assist the person in need in rationally sequencing the procedures required to safely cross to the other side.

The plan comprises 44 pedestrian crossings that intersect the routes leading to the La Torre district occupational center for persons with ASD autism.

The signage consists of four blue pictograms, one for each side of the zebra crossing, positioned on the first strip of each side.

The illustrations show the logical actions to make before crossing the street: “Stop, look, traffic light, cross” in the event of traffic lights, and “Stop, look, automobile parked, cross” in the absence of traffic lights.

The Municipal Councillor for Sustainable Mobility, Giuseppe Grezzi, stressed “the importance of such efforts in fostering the mobility and social inclusion of persons with functional variety” and “how this leads in traffic safety.”

He went on to say that this research “will assist the knowledge of driving laws, establishing a place for cognitive accessibility that promotes the personal liberty and safety of persons with autism.”

The pictogram sequence is the product of a research study performed by Carlos Hervás-Gómez at the University of Seville’s Faculty of Education Sciences in collaboration with the TEAVIAL association.

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